Steam Stars – Pivross

Once in a while, I am going to share with you some of Steam’s hidden gems that are fairly cheap ($10 or less).  The first one that gets my nod is Pivross.

Pivross is actually a free game, but if you want to unlock 100 levels (which I did), you’ll need to pay a bit extra for it.  I felt it was worth it.  I am currently on level 80 and it is getting just hard enough to make it a challenge.  There are achievements and they are all related to the quantity of puzzles you finish and how many you perfect (no mistakes).

If you see my review for Picross 3D, this is pretty much the same game, just for PC and not the DS.  You start with a block of cubes.  You need to use deduction and logic to whittle away at the cube until you have the completed object in front of you, which might look like this:

Pivross Solution

It’s simple once you get the hang of it.  I have enjoyed it a lot and feel that I’ve gotten my $5 worth.  If you like logic/puzzle games, check it out!

Chey’s Top 25 – #17 – Gems of War

Genre:  Puzzle/Match-3/RPG
Platform:  All (mobile, PC, PS4, XBox)

For the first time in Super Fun Time Gaming Girl blog history, a game is being replaced in my top 25 list.  I know the list isn’t fully done yet, but in this instance, the former #17, Puzzle Quest, is being replaced with Gems of War.

Puzzle Quest deserves all of the props that I gave it in my original post.  I have since fallen in serious like with Gems of War, however.  The game takes the mechanics that made Puzzle Quest great and really ran with it.  It’s the natural evolution of the game and it is oh so sweet.

This is a match-3 game combined with a card-based troop system with several different modes.  It has an active online user base and is available on every platform, which makes it very accessible.  I play it on all platforms but mobile.  It’s fun to create my different play styles over the different platform.  For example, I play a bit of a trickster goblin party on my PS4, but a more serious dragon-based party on my XBone.

The developer is constantly making great updates to the game and it doesn’t appear that they have plans to stop.  Since I’ve been playing, they’ve added pets, weapon crafting and a completely re-done class system.  One of my favorite modes is treasure mode, where you combine pieces to form bigger pieces and get more loot.

Gems of War Treasure

As you play, you can also conquer kingdoms and add troops to your arsenal.  I am always adding, upgrading and maintaining new troops to my collection and tinkering with my lineups.  There is also a PVP mode, although you aren’t actually playing a live person.  You are playing a person’s team.  I would love to see a live PVP and I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up one day.  The map of kingdoms is quite large and is growing:

Gems of War map

Anyway, if you like match-3 games, this is the mother of them all.  It will keep you busy for hours on end and you will keep coming back for more!

Hidden Gems – Perfect Angle (PS4)

Platform:  Playstation 4
Genre: Puzzle

It’s been a long time since I’ve added anything to this blog.  Life has been throwing curve balls at me since the flood and I’ve struggled to get back on my feet.  It took a game like Perfect Angle on the Playstation 4 (PS4) to get me excited enough to write again.

Perfect Angle is a zen puzzle game – unlimited hints, no timers and the mechanics are almost too simple.  The premise is this – you are given seemingly random shapes on the screen and you manipulate the play area around it until you find the shape hidden within.  Sometimes, it’s a shadow on a wall.  Other times, you have to remove a couple of pieces to find it.  I am now on level 53 and it’s never been so hard that I’ve wanted to rage quit.  As a puzzle game, I give it a solid A.

However, this is more than a puzzle game.  This game doesn’t want you to play it.  It wants you to experience its story.  You are taken on a mysterious journey with an aging man and you are helping to put his memories back together.  It really fits with the theme of the game itself and in the industry in which I work, which is senior living, it feels painfully relevant.  If this game ends up the way I think it will, this one may just bump something off of my top 25 game list.

If you own a PS4, play this game.  And play it through.  You will not regret it.

hr-machine

Genre:  Puzzle, Educational
Platform:  PC

Have you ever wanted to learn how to program computers?  Human Resource Machine (available on Steam) will teach you in a fun and simple way!  You will be having so much fun, however, that you might not realize you’re learning!

In this game, you start as a fresh employee of a large corporation.  You start out where everyone seems to start in fake companies, in the mail room.  You start with a very basic set of tasks – move items from one conveyor belt to another.  You do so by issuing your character a set of commands.  The levels grow increasingly complicated and it can get hard to keep your commands and jumps straight.

This game really does a good job of teaching those without any programming skills, and even those with a low-level of knowledge, the logical thinking which is necessary in programming.  I have a mid-level of programming knowledge and I was just itching for some of the tools that I’m more familiar with (if…then statements, please!), but it is still a really fun game.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn programming but found it too daunting, try this game first.

Oldies but Goodies – Babble by Galoob

galoob-babble

This isn’t a video game, but it’s still an electronic game, so it’s going up here.  I had this game as a kid and my family and I had a blast with it.  What the heck is it?  It’s Babble by Galoob.  It was a really goofy game where one person took it into a different room, out of earshot, and said a word or phrase into it.  You then returned to the group, and it would play what you just said either backwards or at a super slow speed, depending upon the game you selected.

Someone would then press the “mimic” button and try to repeat what they heard.  It would then either play that at normal speed or front-wards and you would try to guess the phrase based on that.  It was really funny and very typical of a game that my family played back then.  This beauty was from 1988.  I have looked all over Ebay and the interwebs and I cannot find it.  If you happen to run across it, let me know where!

Genre:  Puzzle
Platform:  DS and 3DS

I can’t believe I’ve never written about Professor Layton before now.  This is a puzzle series exclusively on the Nintendo DS and 3DS.  There are currently the following games in the series:

  • Curious Village
  • Diabolical Box
  • Unwound Future
  • Last Sceptre
  • Miracle Mask
  • Azran Legacy

There is also a Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright game for the 3DS, but I have not played it yet.  I am going to lump all of these games in one post because they are all very similar.  The stories change and you get new puzzles in each game.  It doesn’t matter, though, as this is a fantastic series and should be played by every puzzle lover.  Some of the puzzles are down-right hard and I had to grab a pencil and paper on more than one occasion.  They really test different parts of your brain – you’ll get a math question and the next a word puzzle.  Fortunately, they allow you hints for coins that you find while working on the regular story.  If not for this, I wouldn’t have been able to continue in some spots.

In addition to the puzzles, the stories are compelling and you’ll enjoy following Professor Layton and his various companions throughout the series.  You don’t need to play them in order, either.  If you are a puzzle lover, (like me!)  you need to pick up one of these games!  Good luck stopping at just one.

Stinkers – Jumble Madness

Genre:  Word/Puzzle
Platform:  DS

I love puzzle games, especially word games.  And I REALLY wanted to like this game.  I was excited to get it and it cost more than your average word game.  I played it for a good couple of hours, but it just never grabbed me.

If you’re not aware of them, Jumbles are puzzles that have been around American newspapers for a very long time, since at least 1962.  I have enjoyed them for a while, though they are not my first choice of word puzzle.  Anyway, I found that this game was far too easy.  It’s not a fun puzzle if you can solve it in 20 seconds.  This game has some sort of story mode, but it didn’t add anything to the game.  It also has a strange “word-jong” mode, which just has you matching letters like a shanghai-tile game.

If you were looking at this one, skip it.  It’s not much fun.